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The walled city of Dubrovnik


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Pearl of the Adriatic
1995 map of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is located in Croatia
The location of Dubrovnik within Croatia
Coordinates: 42°38′25″N 18°06′30″E / 42.64028°N 18.10833°E / 42.64028; 18.10833
Country Croatia
County Dubrovnik-Neretva county
 - Mayor Andro Vlahušić (CPP)
 - Total 21.35 km2 (8.2 sq mi)
Population (2001)
 - Total 43,770
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 20000
Area code(s) 020
Licence plate DU
Stradun, Dubrovnik's main street
Rooftops in Dubrovnik's Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Dubrovnik bridge of Franjo Tuđman and the Port of Gruž
Onofrio's Fountain
Rector's Palace

Dubrovnik (Croatian pronunciation: [ˈdǔbroːʋniːk]) (Italian, Ragusa), is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast in the extreme south of Dalmatia, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the center of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its population was 43,770 in 2001[1] down from 49,728 in 1991.[2] In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik has always been based on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, as the Republic of Ragusa, also known as the fifth Maritime Republic (together with Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa and Venice), it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. Although demilitarized in 1970s with a purpose to prevent it from war devastation forever, in 1991 after the breakup of Yugoslavia it was besieged by Serb-Montenegrin forces for 7 months and heavily damaged by bombing.



In Croatian, and all other Slavic languages, the city is known as Dubrovnik; in Italian as Ragusa, its historical name, in Greek as Raiyia (Ραυγια) or Ragousa (Ραγουσα).

The current Croatian name was officially adopted in 1918 after the fall of Austria–Hungary.


From the foundation to the end of the Republic

Coat of Arms Republic of Ragusa

Historical lore indicates that Ragusa (Dubrovnik) was founded in the 7th century on a rocky island named Laus, which provided shelter for Dalmatian refugees from the nearby city of Epidaurus. The Latino-dalmatian founders were escaping from the Slavic invasions.[3]

Another theory appeared recently, based on new archaeological excavations. New findings (a Byzantine basilica from 8th century and parts of the city walls) contradicts the traditional theory. The size of the old basilica clearly indicates that there was quite large settlement at that time. There is also increasing support in the scientific community for the theory that major construction of Ragusa took place during B.C. years. This "Greek theory" has been boosted by recent findings of numerous Greek artifacts during excavations in the Port of Dubrovnik. Also, drilling below the main city road has revealed natural sand, which contradicts the theory of Laus (Lausa) island.

Dr. Antun Ničetić in his book ("Povijest dubrovačke luke" - History of the Port of Dubrovnik) expounds on the theory that Dubrovnik was established by Greek sailors. A key element in this theory is the fact that ships in ancient times travelled about 45-50 nautical miles per day, and required a sandy shore to pull out of water for the rest period during the night. The ideal rest site would have fresh water source in the vicinity. Dubrovnik has both, and is situated almost halfway between two known Greek settlements Budva and Korčula (95 NM is the distance between them).

After the fall of the Ostrogothic Kingdom, the town came under the protection of the Byzantine Empire, although it was essentially an independent city-state that actively interacted with the surrounding Serbian littoral. After the Crusades, Ragusa came under the sovereignty of Venice (1205–1358), which would give its institutions to the Dalmatian city. By the Peace Treaty of Zadar in 1358, Ragusa achieved a relative independence as a vassal-state of the Kingdom of Hungary.

Between the 14th century and 1808 Ragusa ruled itself as a free state. The Republic had its peak in the 15th and 16th centuries, when its thalassocracy rivalled that of the Republic of Venice and other Italian maritime republics.

The Republic of Ragusa received its own Statutes as early as 1272, statutes which, among other things, codified Roman practice and local customs. The Statutes included prescriptions for town planning and the regulation of quarantine (for hygienic reasons).[4] The Republic was very inventive regarding laws and institutions that were developed very early:

  • Medical service was introduced in 1301
  • The first pharmacy (still working) was opened in 1317
  • A refuge for old people was opened in 1347
  • The first quarantine hospital (Lazarete) was opened in 1377
  • Slave trading was abolished in 1418
  • The orphanage was opened in 1432
  • The water supply system (20 kilometers) was constructed in 1436
Republic of Ragusa before 1808

The city was ruled by the local aristocracy that was of Latin-dalmatian extraction and formed two city councils. As usual for the time, they maintained a strict system of social classes. The republic abolished the slave trade early in the 15th century and valued liberty highly. The city successfully balanced its sovereignty between the interests of Venice and the Ottoman Empire for centuries.

The languages spoken by the people were the romance Dalmatian and Croatian. But the latter started to replace Dalmatian little by little since the 11th century amongst the common people who inhabited the city. The aristocracy was of Latin extraction. The population itself was mostly of Latin origin until the 17th century, when the Croatian migrations from the surrounding regions.

Italian (and the literary Italian language and the Venetian dialect) would become an important language of culture in the Republic of Ragusa. The Italian language replaced Latin as official language of the Republic of Ragusa from 1492 until the end of the republic itself. At the same time, due to a pacific cohabitation with the Slavic element and the influence of the Italian culture on this, during the Renaissance Ragusa became a cradle of the Croatian literature.

The economic wealth of the Republic was partially the result of the land it developed, but especially of the seafaring trade it did. With the help of skilled diplomacy, Ragusa's merchants travelled lands freely, and on the sea the city had a huge fleet of merchant ships (argosy) that travelled all over the world. From these travels they founded some settlements, from India to America, and brought parts of their culture and vegetation home with them. One of the keys to success was not conquering, but trading and sailing under a white flag with the word freedom (Latin: Libertas) prominently featured on it. That flag was adopted when slave trading was abolished in 1418.

Many Conversos (Marranos)—Jews from Spain and Portugal—were attracted to the city. In May, 1544, a ship landed there filled exclusively with Portuguese refugees, as Balthasar de Faria reported to King John. During this time there worked in the city one of the most famous cannon and bell founders of his time: Ivan Rabljanin (Magister Johannes Baptista Arbensis de la Tolle).

The Republic gradually declined after a crisis of Mediterranean shipping—and especially a catastrophic earthquake in 1667 [5] that killed over 5000 citizens, levelling most of the public buildings—ruined the well-being of the Republic. In 1699 the Republic sold two patches of its territory to the Ottomans in order to avoid terrestrial borderline, with advancing Venetian forces. Today this strip of land belongs to Bosnia and Herzegovina and is its only direct access to the Adriatic.

In 1806 [6] the city surrendered to French forces, as that was the only way to cut a month's long siege by the Russian-Montenegrin fleets (during which 3000 cannonballs fell on the city). At first Napoleon demanded only free passage for his troops, promising not to occupy the territory and stressing that the French were friends of the Ragusans. Later, however, French forces blockaded the harbours, forcing the government to give in and let French troops enter the city. On this day, all flags and coats of arms above the city walls were painted black as a sign of grief. In 1808, Marshal Marmont abolished the republic and integrated its territory first into the Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy and later into the Illyrian provinces under French rule.

Austrian rule

When the Habsburg Empire gained these provinces after the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the new imperial authorities installed a bureaucratic administration, established the Kingdom of Dalmatia, which had its own Sabor (Diet) or Parliament, based in the city of Zadar, also political parties that dominated the scene were in the nineteenth century, the Autonomist Party and the National Party. It introduced a series of modifications intended to centralize, albeit slowly, the bureaucratic, tax, religious, educational, and trade structures. Unfortunately for the local residents, these centralization strategies, which were intended to stimulate the economy, largely failed. And once the personal, political and economic trauma of the Napoleonic Wars had been overcome, new movements began to form in the region, calling for a political reorganization of the Adriatic along national lines.[citation needed]

The combination of these two forces—a flawed Habsburg administrative system and new national movements claiming ethnicity as the founding block towards a community—created a particularly perplexing problem; for Dalmatia was a province ruled by the German-speaking, centralizing Habsburg monarchy, with bilingual i.e. Croatian and Italian speaking elites that dominated a general population consisting of a Croatian Catholic majority (and a Serb Orthodox minority of not more than 300 people).[citation needed]

Ragusan Flag "Libertas"

In 1815, the former Ragusan Government, i.e. its noble assembly, met for the last time in the ljetnikovac in Mokošica. Once again heavy efforts were undertaken to re-establish the Republic however this time it was all in vain. After fall of the Republic most of the aristocracy were recognized by Austrian Empire.

In 1832, Baron Sigismondo Ghetaldi-Gondola (1795–1860) was elected podestà of Ragusa, serving for 13 years; the Austrian government granted him the title of "Baron".

Count Raffaele Pozza, Dr. Jur., (1828–90) was elected for first time Podestà of Ragusa in the year 1869 after this was re-elected in 1872, 1875, 1882, 1884) and elected twice into the Dalmatian Council, 1870, 1876. The victory of the Nationalist in Spalato in 1882 had a strong echo in the areas of Curzola and Ragusa. It was greeted by the mayor (podestà) of Ragusa Raffaele Pozza, the National Reading Club of Dubrovnik, the Workers Association of Dubrovnik and the review "Slovinac"; by the communities of Kuna and Orebić, the latter one getting the nationalist government even before Split.

Austrian rule and Austro-Hungarian rule which followed lasted for more than a century and were typified by the motto of the world powers of that time: Divide et impera (Divide and rule). Austrian policy of denationalizing the Dalmatian coasts left its mark in the political division of the population as best expressed in the political parties: the Croatian People's Party and the mostly Italianite Autonomous Party.[citation needed]

In 1889, the Serbian-Catholics circle supported Baron Francesco Ghetaldi-Gondola, candidate of Autonomous Party, vs the candidate of Popular Party Vlaho de Giulli, in the 1890 election to the Dalmatian Diet.[7] The following year during the local government election, the Autonomous Party won the municipal reelection with Francesco Gondola, who died in power in 1899, the alliance won the election again on 27 May 1894. Francesco Ghetaldi-Gondola founded the Società Philately on 4 December 1890.

Ivan Gundulić monument 1893


With the fall of Austria-Hungary in 1918, the city was incorporated into the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia). The name of the city was officially changed from Ragusa to Dubrovnik.

In 1921 Pero Cingrija died (born 1837), politician and one of the leaders of the People's Party in Dalmatia. It was thanks to his efforts that the People's Party and the Party of Right were fused into one Croatian Party in 1905

During World War II, Dubrovnik became part of the Nazi controlled Independent State of Croatia, occupied by the Italian army first, and by the German army after 8 September 1943. In October 1944 Tito's partisans entered Dubrovnik, that became consequently part of Communist Yugoslavia. Soon after their arrival into the city, Partisans sentenced approximately 78 citizens to death without trial, including a Catholic priest.[8]

After 1945, many citizens left the city and settled in Italy, Austria or Germany. Their assets were confiscated and passed into the hands of the state[citation needed].

Break-up of Yugoslavia

Dubrovnik Shelling (black dots) 1991 to 1992.

In 1991 Croatia and Slovenia, which at that time were republics within Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, declared their independence. At that event, Socialist Republic of Croatia was renamed Republic of Croatia.

Despite demilitarization of the old town in early 1970s in an attempt to prevent it from ever becoming a casualty of war, following Croatia's independence in 1991, Serbian-Montenegrin remains of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) attacked the city. The regime in Montenegro led by Momir Bulatović, which was installed by and loyal to the Serbian government led by Slobodan Milošević, declared that Dubrovnik would not be permitted to remain in Croatia because they claimed it was historically part of Montenegro.[9] This was in spite of the large Croat majority in the city and that very few Montenegrins resided there, though Serbs accounted for six percent of the population.[9] Many consider the claims by the Bulatović government, as being part of Serbian President Milošević's plan to deliver his nationalist supporters the Greater Serbia they desired as Yugoslavia collapsed.[9]

On October 1, 1991 Dubrovnik was attacked by JNA with a siege of Dubrovnik that lasted for seven months. Heaviest artillery attack happened on December 6 with 19 people killed and 60 wounded. Total casualties in the conflict according to Croatian Red Cross were 114 killed civilians, among them celebrated poet Milan Milisić. In May 1992 the Croatian Army lifted the siege and liberated Dubrovnik's surroundings, but the danger of sudden attacks by the JNA lasted for another three years.[citation needed]

Following the end of the war, damage caused by the shelling of the Old Town was repaired. Adhering to UNESCO guidelines, repairs were performed in the original style. As of 2005, most damage had been repaired. The inflicted damage can be seen on a chart near the city gate, showing all artillery hits during the siege, and is clearly visible from high points around the city in the form of the more brightly coloured new roofs. ICTY indictments were issued for JNA generals and officers involved in the bombing.

General Pavle Strugar, who was coordinating the attack on the city, was sentenced to an eight year prison term by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for his role in the attack of the city.

The 1996 Croatia USAF CT-43 crash, near Dubrovnik Airport, killed everyone on a United States Air Force jet with VIP passengers.


Old City of Dubrovnik*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Old Harbour at Dubrovnik
State Party  Croatia
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii, iv
Reference 95
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1979  (3rd Session)
Extensions 1994
Endangered 1991-1998
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

The annual Dubrovnik Summer Festival is a two month-long cultural event with live plays, concerts, and games. It has been awarded a Gold International Trophy for Quality (2007) by the Editorial Office in collaboration with the Trade Leaders Club.

February 3 is the feast of Sveti Vlaho (Saint Blaise), who is the city's patron saint. Every year the city of Dubrovnik celebrates the holiday with Mass, parades, and festivities that last for several days.[10]

The Old Town of Dubrovnik is depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 50 kuna banknote, issued in 1993 and 2002.[11]

Among the many tourist destinations are a few beaches. Banje, Dubrovnik's main public beach, is home to the Eastwest Beach Club hotel. There is also Copacabana Beach, a small stony beach part of the Elaphiti Islands,[12] named after the popular beach in Rio de Janeiro.


The patron saint of the city is Sveti Vlaho (Saint Blaise), whose statues are seen around the city. He has an importance similar to that of St. Mark the Evangelist to Venice. One of the larger churches in city is named after Saint Blaise. The city boasts of many old buildings, such as the Arboretum Trsteno, the oldest arboretum in the world, dating back to before 1492. Also, the third oldest European pharmacy is located in the city, which dates back to 1317 (and is the only one still in operation today). It is located at Little Brothers church in Dubrovnik.[13]

In history, many Conversos (Marranos) were attracted to Dubrovnik, formerly a considerable seaport. In May, 1544, a ship landed there filled exclusively with Portuguese refugees, as Balthasar de Faria reported to King John. Another admirer of Dubrovnik, George Bernard Shaw, visited the city in 1929 and said: "If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik."

In the bay of Dubrovnik is the 72-hectare wooded island of Lokrum, where according to legend, Richard the Lionheart was cast ashore after being shipwrecked in 1192. The island includes a fortress, botanical garden, monastery and naturist beach.

Dubrovnik has also been mentioned in popular film and theater. In the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with Michael Caine, one of the characters said to have been dreaming of fairy from Dubrovnik (motive known from local legends and literature).

Ivan Gundulić, a 17th century Croatian writer, predicted the downfall of the great Turkish Empire in his poem Osman.

Dubrovnik Languages

The official language until 1472 was Latin. Later, the Senate of the Republic decided that the official language of the Republic would be the Ragusan dialect of the Romance Dalmatian language, and forbade the use of the Slavic language in senatorial debate. The Gospari (the Aristocracy) held on to their language for many a century, while it slowly disappeared.

Although the Latin language was in official use, inhabitants of the republic were mostly native speakers of the Croatian languages (as confirmed by P. A. Tolstoj in 1698, when he noted In Dalmatia... Dubrovnikans....called themselves as Ragusan(Raguseos) and always have proud in the Republic)[14] Dalmatian language was also spoken in the city. Italian language as spoken in the republic was heavily influenced by Venetian language and Tuscan dialect. Italian took root among the Dalmatian Romance-speaking merchant upper classes, as a result of Venetian influence.[15]


The population of Dubrovnik is 43,770 according to the 2001 census, with about 40,770 live in the city proper. Approximately 88.39% of the population is Croat.

Important monuments

Few of Dubrovnik's Renaissance buildings survived the earthquake of 1667 but fortunately enough remain to give an idea of the city's architectural heritage.[16] The finest Renaissance highlight is the Sponza Palace which dates from the 16th century and is currently used to house the National Archives.[17] The Rectors Palace is a Gothic-Renaissance structure that displays finely-carved capitals and an ornate staircase. It now houses a museum.[18][19] Its façade is depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 50 kuna banknote, issued in 1993 and 2002.[11] The St Saviour Church is another remnant of the Renaissance period, next to the much-visited Franciscan Monastery.[13][20][21] The Franciscan monastery's library possesses 30,000 volumes, 22 incunabula, 1,500 valuable handwritten documents. Exhibits include a 15th century silver-gilt cross and silver thurible, an 18th century crucifix from Jerusalem, a martyrology (1541) by Bemardin Gucetic and illuminated Psalters.[13]

Dubrovnik's most beloved church is St Blaise's church, built in the 18th century in honor of Dubrovnik's patron saint. Dubrovnik's baroque Cathedral was built in the 18th century and houses an impressive Treasury with relics of Saint Blaise. The city's Dominican Monastery resembles a fortress on the outside but the interior contains an art museum and a Gothic-Romanesque church.[22][23] A special treasure of the Dominican monastery is its library with over 220 incunabula, numerous illustrated manuscripts, a rich archive with precious manuscripts and documents and an extensive art collection.[24][25][26]

Walls of Dubrovnik

A feature of Dubrovnik is its walls that run 2 km around the city. The walls run from four to six metres thick on the landward side but are much thinner on the seaward side. The system of turrets and towers were intended to protect the vulnerable city.[27]


Dubrovnik has an international airport of its own. It is located approximately 20 km (12 mi) from Dubrovnik city centre, near Čilipi. Buses connect the airport with the Dubrovnik old main bus station in Gruž. In addition, a network of modern, local buses connects all Dubrovnik neighborhoods running frequently from dawn to midnight. However, Dubrovnik, unlike Croatia's other major centres, is not accessible by rail.[28]

The A1 highway, in use between Zagreb and Ravča, is planned to be extended all the way to Dubrovnik. The highway will cross the Pelješac Bridge which is currently under construction. An alternative plan proposes the highway running from Neum through Bosnia and Herzegovina and an expressway continuing to Dubrovnik. This plan has fallen out of favor, though.


Dubrovnik has a number of educational institutions. These include Dubrovnik International University, the University of Dubrovnik, a Nautical College, a Tourist College, a University Centre for Postgraduate Studies of the University of Zagreb, American College of Management and Technology, and an Institute of History of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.


The climate along the Dubrovnik Region is a typical Mediterranean one, with mild, rainy winters and hot and dry summers. However, it is perhaps distinct from other Mediterranean climates because of the unusual winds and frequency of thunderstorms. The Bura wind blows uncomfortably cold gusts down the Adriatic coast between October and April, and thundery conditions are common all the year round, even in summer, when they interrupt the warm, sunny days. The air temperatures can slightly vary, depending on the area or region. Typically, in July and August daytime maximum temperatures reach 29 °C, and at night drop to around 21 °C. More comfortable, perhaps, is the climate in Spring and Autumn when maximum temperatures are typically between 20 °C and 28 °C.

Month January February March April May June July August September October November December
Avg high °C (°F) 12.2 (54.0) 12.3 (54.1) 14.4 (57.9) 16.9 (62.4) 21.3 (70.3) 25.2 (77.4) 28.3 (82.9) 28.7 (83.7) 25.4 (77.7) 21.4 (70.5) 16.6 (61.9) 13.3 (55.9)
Avg low °C (°F) 6.5 (43.7) 6.4 (43.5) 8.5 (47.3) 10.9 (51.6) 15.2 (59.4) 18.8 (65.8) 21.5 (70.7) 21.7 (71.1) 18.7 (65.7) 15.2 (59.4) 10.8 (51.4) 7.8 (46.0)
  • Air temperature
    • average annual
16.4 °C (61.5 °F)
  • average of coldest period = January
9 °C (48 °F)
  • average of warmest period = August
24.9 °C (76.8 °F)
  • Sea temperature
    • average May–September
17.9–23.8 °C (64–75 °F)
1,020.8 mm
    • average annual rain days
  • Sunshine
    • average annual
2629 h
    • average daily hours
7.2 h

Notable people from Dubrovnik

International relations

Twin towns - sister cities

Dubrovnik is twinned with:[29]



Panorama view on the Old Town of Dubrovnik
Panorama view from the Old Harbour


See also




  1. ^ "Population by ethnicity, by towns/municipalities, census 2001". Crostat - Croatia Central Bureau of Statistics. 2001. Archived from the original on 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  2. ^ "Encyclopedia, Dubrovnik". A&E Television Networks, Funk & Wagnalls' New Encyclopedia. World Almanac Education Group. Archived from the original on 2010-02-14. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  3. ^ Researches on the Danube and the Adriatic by Andrew Archibald Paton (1861). Contributions to the Modern History of Hungary and Transylvania, Dalmatia and Croatia, Servia and Bulgaria-Brockhaus Chapter 9. page 218
  4. ^ Naklada Naprijed, The Croatian Adriatic Tourist Guide, pg. 354, Zagreb (199), ISBN 953-178-097-8
  5. ^ Earthquake Monitoring and Seismic Hazard Mitigation in Balkan Countries by Eystein Sverre Husebye
  6. ^ Dalmatia and Montenegro: Volume 2 by Sir John Gardner Wilkinson
  7. ^ Trudna tożsamość: problemy ... - Búsqueda de libros de Google. 2007-09-20. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  8. ^ "Nakon ulaska partizana u Dubrovnik u listopadu 1944.: Partizani pogubili hrvatske antifašiste | Izdvojeno | Glas Koncila". Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  9. ^ a b c Srđa Pavlović. "Pavlovic: The Siege of Dubrovnik". Archived from the original on 2010-02-15. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  10. ^ Dubrovnik news
  11. ^ a b Croatian National Bank. Features of Kuna Banknotes: 50 kuna (1993 issue) & 50 kuna (2002 issue). – Retrieved on 30 March 2009.
  12. ^ Karen Tormé Olson, Sanja Bazulic Olson (2006). Frommer's Croatia. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 57–58. ISBN 0764598988. Retrieved 27 October 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c "Monuments (1 to 5)". Dubrovnik Online. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  14. ^ (Croatian) Jezik, lingvistika i politika: Ilirski iliti slovinki jezik
  15. ^ (Italian) Marzio, Scaglioni (1996). "La presenza italiana in Dalmazia, 1866-1943". Tesi di Laurea. Facoltà di Scienze politiche - Università degli studi di Milano. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  16. ^ Oliver, Jeanne. "Dubrovnik Sights". Croatia Traveller. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  17. ^ "Sponza Palace". Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  18. ^ "The Rector's Palace". Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  19. ^ "The Rector's Palace". Dubrovnik Guide. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  20. ^ "Franciscan monastery". Dubrovnik Guide. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  21. ^ "Franciscan Friary, Dubrovnik". Sacred Destinations. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  22. ^ "Church of St. Blaise, Dubrovnik". Sacred Destinations. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  23. ^ "Monuments (16 to 20)". Dubrovnik Online. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  24. ^ "Dominican Friary, Dubrovnik". Sacred Destinations. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  25. ^ Oliver, Jeanne. "Dominican Monastery". Croatia Traveller. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  26. ^ "Monuments (21 To 22)". Dubrovnik Online. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  27. ^ Oliver, Jeanne. "Dubrovnik's Walls". Croatia Traveller. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  28. ^ "Transportation Rail". Dubrovnik Online. Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Gradovi prijatelji Grada Dubrovnika" (in Croatian). Grad Dubrovnik. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  30. ^ "Twin Towns - Graz Online - English Version". Retrieved 2010-01-05. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Balkans : Croatia : Dalmatia : Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is an old city on the Adriatic Sea coast in the extreme south of Croatia. It is one of the most prominent tourist resorts of the Mediterranean, a seaport and the center of the Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its population was about 47.000 in 2009. Dubrovnik is nicknamed "Pearl of the Adriatic" and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.



The city of Dubrovnik (Latin name Ragusa) was built on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages it became the only city-state in the Adriatic to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development during the 15th and 16th centuries. Furthermore, Dubrovnik was one of the centers of the development of the Croatian language and literature, home to many notable poets, playwrights, painters, mathematicians, physicists and other scholars.

Today Dubrovnik is the proudest feather in Croatia's tourist cap, an elite destination and one of the most beautiful towns in the Mediterranean. Dubrovnik used to be an independent republic, surviving mostly on trade. It managed to survive many centuries, with constant threats to its territory, particularly from the mighty Ottoman Empire and Venice. As early as 19th century, it was discovered by celebrities as a place to be seen. George Bernard Shaw once said that "those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and find it". Royalty, presidents and diplomats have all favored the city. The late Pope John Paul II was a fan of Dubrovnik and was even made an honorary citizen. Out of the 18 top luxury hotels in Croatia, 11 are located in Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik is steeped in stunning architecture and sculptural detail, and boasts spectacular churches, monasteries, museums, fountain. A multitude of typical towns and excursions include: The Elafiti Islands, the attractive town of Cavtat, Mljet Island, Korčula Island and Peljesac Peninsula. The neighboring towns of Kotor in Montenegro or Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina also make for intriguing day trips.

Bokar Fortress
Bokar Fortress

Get in

By plane

Dubrovnik airport (IATA: DBV) (ICAO: LDDU), [1] is located about 20 km to the south of the city.

The following airlines operate service to/from Dubrovnik Airport:

Aer Lingus (Dublin-seasonal), Air Berlin (Munich-seasonal, Stuttgart-seasonal), Austrian Airlines (Vienna), B&H Airlines (Sarajevo-seasonal),Blue1 (Helsinki), Bmibaby (East Midlands-seasonal), British Airways (London-Gatwick-seasonal), Croatia Airlines (Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, London-Gatwick, Munich, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Pula, Rome-Fiumicino, Split, Tel Aviv, Vienna, Zagreb, Zürich), DanubeWings (Bratislava), EasyJet (Berlin-Schönefeld-seasonal), Geneva-seasonal, Liverpool-seasonal, London-Gatwick-seasonal, Milan-Malpensa-seasonal, Paris-Orly-seasonal), Estonian Air (Tallinn), Flybe (Birmingham-seasonal, Exeter-seasonal, Southampton-seasonal), Flyglobespan (Aberdeen-seasonal), Germanwings (Berlin-Schönefeld, Cologne/Bonn, Hamburg), Iberia Airlines (Madrid-seasonal), Iberia operated by Air Nostrum (Valencia-seasonal), Jetairfly (Brussels-seasonal), (Belfast-seasonal, Edinburgh-seasonal, Leeds-seasonal, Manchester-seasonal), Lufthansa (Munich), Luxair (Luxembourg), Monarch Airlines (London-Gatwick-seasonal), Norwegian Air Shuttle (Bergen, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stavanger, Stockholm-Arlanda, Trondheim, Warsaw), Thomson Airways (London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Manchester-seasonal), Vueling (Barcelona-seasonal)

Croatia Airlines operates buses between the airport and the main bus station in Kantafig (45 kuna, 45 minutes). Taxis from the airport to the center will cost 220 kuna. Going to the airport a bus aims to leave the bus station 2 hours before each international flight, and costs 35 kuna. The bus passes the Old Town en route to the airport and you can board this bus at the bus stop on Petra Kresimira 4 just above the Old Town. Make sure you wave furiously otherwise the driver may not stop!

By train

There is no train to Dubrovnik. The closest rail station is at Ploče, less than 2 hours by bus from Dubrovnik. From there, you can connect to trains to Mostar and Sarajevo. Trains to points north can be boarded at Split, a 4 hour bus ride from Dubrovnik.

By car

The trip from Split is a beautiful journey along the coastal roads through small, quaint villages and other tourist destinations. Just know that in the summer months the trip is likely to take several hours longer than anticipated. What looks like a short trip on a map can take six hours.

By bus

The new bus station is in Kantafig, near the northern approach and the Tudjman bridge. Local bus 7 operates between this station and Babin kuk.

Direct buses run to/from Zagreb (200 kuna, 11 hours, 7 daily), Korcula (100 kuna, 3 hours, 1 daily), Mostar (100 kuna, 3 hours, 2 daily), Orebic (100 kuna, 2.5 hours, 1 daily), Rijeka (400 kuna, 12 hours, 3 daily), Sarajevo (160 kuna, 5 hours, 1 daily), Split (120 kun, 4.5 hours, 14 daily), Zadar (200 kuna, 8 hours, 7 daily). In the high season, there is also a daily bus leaving at 11:00am going to the Montenegro cities of Herceg Novi, Bar, Kotor, and Budva.

When traveling into Montenegro and the Airport sit on the right hand side (not behind driver) for best views, and vice-versa for the return. Traveling to Bosnia, sit on the left hand side (behind the driver) for best views.

A departure listing for the international bus station is available at the website of the city bus operator: [2]

On all intercity buses you pay a separate fee of €2 or 10 kuna to the driver for luggage. So keep some change ready.

By boat

Cruise ships occasionally pay day visits. Many dock roughly a mile north of an entrance to the walled-city.


  • Jadrolinija [3] runs ferries down the coast from Rijeka. Calling at Split, Stari Grad, Korčula and Sobra on the way. Journey time is up to twenty hours, so consider getting a cabin. The restaurant serves up some decent food at surprisingly reasonable prices, but bear in mind that the 22% tax is not included on the menu. While the journey is scenic, there is nothing in the way of entertainment so come prepared with a good book.
  • Jadrolinija [4] also offers nightly crossings to and from Bari, Italy but either the dull engine vibration or the swaying of the boat from high winds are likely to keep you awake.

The old town is completely pedestrianised and easily small enough to get around on foot - some of the streets are a little steep though!

By bus

If you are not staying in the Old Town, it's relatively simple get there by bus, as just about every one leads to the Old Town. However, it might be advisable to get a timetable just in case. Timetable available here [5]. It costs 8kn (just over €1) for tickets bought at any kiosk,or 10kn bought on the bus; ticket valid for 1hr. At selected kiosks (including the international bus station) you can purchase a day pass for 25hr. This pass is valid for 24 hours of unlimited travel on the city bus network, starting from the first validation. The easiest way to get from the Main Bus Station to the Old Town is by using the (mostly modern and air-conditioned) buses number 1, 1A and 1B, which circulate almost constantly.


Dubrovnik was heavily bombed during the Croatian War of Independence from 1991 to 1995. Almost all of the damage has been covered over but if you look closely around the old town you can still see the damage from mortars in the cobblestone streets and bullet marks in the stone houses.

  • Roland's Column, in front of the Bell Tower, A slender stone flag staff of the legendary knight. Also known as Orlando's Column. Ever since its foundation in 1950, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is officially opened by raising a flag (carrying the city's motto LIBERTAS) on Orlando's staff.
  • Bell Tower, after the Ploče entrance to the city, On top of the tower are the famous 'Zelenci' (The Green Ones), bronze statues which strike the gigantic bell every hour. They have been recently replaced with copies and the originals are in the atrium of the Sponza Palace.
  • Sponza Palace, west of the Bell Tower, Gothic Renaissance palace, one of the few buildings that has maintained its form from before the catastrophic 1667 earthquake. Hosts historic archives. Memorial room of defenders. Open 10AM-10PM. 20 KN
  • Rector's Palace, Pred dvorom 1, +385 20 321 437. Formerly the palace of the Major Council, now houses a museum dedicated to the city's history.
  • War Photo Limited, Antuninska 6. An exhibition center of war and conflict photography. Exhibits change during the season. Stunning images by world renowned photo journalists. Open 9AM-9PM
Inside the Church of St. Ignatius
Inside the Church of St. Ignatius
  • Pile Gate, at the beginning of the Placa Thoroughfare (Stradun) (Old town). The most convenient starting place for your stroll through the City is Pile. Before entering the Old City, Lovrjenac Fort is the first among many sites worth seeing in Dubrovnik.  edit
  • Placa Stradun, (Old town). The Stradun (Placa) is the central street of the city of Dubrovnik and is the place where the old city comes to life. During the day, explore the shades of the peripendicular streets and alleys on its sides, and during the night, take walks up and down the Stradun with an ice-cream in hand. The uniform Baroque architecture of the houses in Placa, with shops on the street level and their 'knee-like' entrances, got its present-day form in the restoration of the City taking place after the disastrous earthquake in 1667, when a large number of luxurious Gothic and Renaissance palaces had been destroyed. The architectural design of Placa reveals effective solutions and the business sense of the Dubrovnik Republic in those difficult times. Today, Placa is still the shopping centre and venue of major events.  edit
  • Big Onofrio´s Fountain. In the western (Pile) entrance of the old town, The fountain stairs are nowadays a favourite meeting place of the youth, where both the tourists and pigeons take rest and refresh themselves with cool water.  edit
  • Old Port. A part of the Old Town of Dubrovnik.  edit
  • Old City Walls. 8-19. Walk on the walls around the old town, great views! Warning - it's extremely recommended to visit the walls during the early morning hours or the late afternoon hours, as it can become hot during the day! Dubrovnik is surrounded by City Walls which are 2 kilometres long and for which it is famous all around the world. Through the history City Walls were protection from the enemy, today Dubrovnik City Walls brings the visitors from the whole world who want to see this city- museum. There are 3 entrances to the City Walls: on Stradun by the Pile gate, by fort Saint John’s and at the Custom’s House gate. Within the City Walls you will see Fort Minceta and Fort St. John’s on the south-eastern side. Also, within the City Walls are Fort Lawrence at Pile and Fort Revelin at Ploce. The main entrance to the City Walls is by the Inner Pile Gates. Except the amazing view to the whole Dubrovnik in price is also included sightseeing of some forts and towers inside the walls: Minceta Fort is one of the most beautiful cultural attractions in Dubrovnik. It is situated on the northwest side of the city inside the City Walls. It was built according to the design of Renaissance builder Juraj Dalmatinac. St. Luke’s Tower you can see walking along the landward side of City Walls up to Ploce Gate. St. Luke’s Tower through the history protected the entrance to the Dubrovnik harbour. St. John’s Fort was constructed in 16th century and it is really worth of visiting- on its ground floor you can visit the Aquarium, and on first and second floor you can visit Maritime Museum. (more about it at the end of the page). Bokar Fort is situated on the seaward of City Walls. It was designed by Florentine architect Michelozzi in the 15th century.  edit
  • Fort Lovrijenac. The monumental fort rises above 37 meters high rock. It changed roles in the course of history. The main purpose of its construction was defense, and the main idea was to protect the freedom of Dubrovnik.  edit
  • Aquarium. 8 AM - 9 PM. 30 Kn.  edit
  • Franciscan Monastery, Placa 2, +385 20 321 410, 9AM-6PM. This beautiful monastery with Baroque Church, houses a Romanesque cloister and the third oldest pharmacy in the world.
  • Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Kneza Damjana Jude 1, +385 20 323 459, M-Sa 8AM-8 PM, Su 11AM-5:30 PM. This impressive building is in the Poljana Marin Držić. Supposedly, the original church was built with money donated by Richard the Lionhearted who survived shipwreck on his way home from the Third Crusade. The current Roman Baroque cathedral dates from the 18th Century.
  • Church of Saint Blaise (Crkva Svetog Vlaha). Baroque Church dedicated to the city's patron saint.
  • Church of St. Ignatius and the Jesuit College. Beautiful Baroque church located on a small hill within the old city.
  • Dominican Monastery, This is an exceptionally valuable historic complex, which, besides its religious purpose, also represents the important artistic treasury of ancient Dubrovnik. Open 9AM-6PM.
  • Church of St. Sebastian
  • Serbian Orhodox Church and Museum of Icons


Entrance fees for 2009 year:

  • Franciscan Monastery Museum Placa 2, 9AM-6PM. Check out artifacts from one of the world's oldest pharmacies. Entrance fee:30 Kn
  • Sigurata Convent Museum Od Sigurate 13,tel:+385 20 321 467, Opened upon request. Entrance fee:10 KN
  • Synagogue and Jewish Museum Zudioska 5,tel:+385 20 321-028 Open :10AM-8PM Entrance fee:15 KN
  • Dominican Monastery Museum Sv. Domina 4,tel:+385 20 321 423, 9AM-6PM. Paintings and artifacts from Dubrovnik's past. Entrance fee : 20 KN
  • The Sponza Palace Museum (Museum of the State Archives)Entrance fee :20 Kn
  • The Rector`s Palace Museum Pred dvorom 1,tel:+385 20 321 437, 9AM-6PM. Artifacts, paintings and furniture dating back from the time of the Dubrovnik Republic. Entrance fee :40 KN
  • The Treasury of Cathedral Kneza Damjana Jude 1,tel:+385 20 323 459, 9AM-6PM. The Treasury has 138 reliquaries which are carried around the city during the Feast of St Blaise. Entrance fee:15 KN
  • Maritime Museum St. John Fort ,tel:+385 20 323 904. Open:9AM-6PM Entrance fee:40 KN
  • The Home of Marin Drzic Široka 7,tel:+385 20 420 490, M-Sa 9AM-1PM and by appointment. Memorial house of Marin Drzic, one of Croatia's most famous writers.
  • The Museum of Icons (Serbian Ortodox Church) Open:9AM-2PM Entrance fee: 10 KN
  • The Etnographic Museum (Rupe Granary) Open:9AM-6PM Entrance fee :40 KN

Some museums offer a discount ticket if you visit more than one museum. For example its 40kn for the Rectors Palace, 45kn for Rectors Palace and Ethnographic museum, and 50kn for Rectors Palace, Ethnographic museum and Maritime museum. You can use these tickets on multiple days.

View of the City
View of the City
  • Dubrovnik Summer Festival, [6]. Music and theatre festival held since 1949 from 10th July to 25th August. Famous nationwide for its exquisite selection of drama,plays and concert of chamber music with more then 2000 artists from 30 countries during 47 days of this festival.Be sure to book in advance and don't miss a chance to see some of the open-air performances, even if they're in Croatian!
  • Walk down the Stradun and enjoy a drink at a cafe on the main through fair of the old town.
  • Libertas Film Festival, [7]. Film festival held from August 25-30.
  • Walk Dubrovnik city walls.It`s a must do when you are in Dubrovnik.Total lenght is approx. 2 km or 1,1 mile.There are several entrances/exits but the main entrance to the city walls is located at the beginning the main street Stradun near Pile Gate. Open:8AM-7PM. Entrance fee:70 KN adults, 30 KN children.Recommended licensed Dubrovnik tour guide Denis ( with great experience and knowledge in conducting private walking tailor-made tours and other tours in Dubrovnik region.
  • Take a ferry to the Island of Lokrum, which houses a monastery, a fort with great views of Dubrovnik, botanical gardens, and a naturist beach. Preserved as a Nature Park, this small island is reachable in 10 minutes boat-time from the old city port. It offers unparalleled serenity, beauty and peace. A definite must see (and feel!)
  • Walk up the winding footpath to the fortress and large cross on Mount Srd, the hilltop 400 meters above Dubrovnik for a great view of the town and along the coast. The fortress contains a small museum describing its history, although building work (winter 2009) has closed the museum. Walking up from the old town takes about 90 minutes. The path is quite rocky so don't wear flip flops!
  • Lazareti (, Frana Supila 8 (Ploce, just out side of the east entrance to the Old town), 385 20 324 633, [8]. Old quarantine hospital serves as a cultural center for concerts, exhibitions, workshops, theater, film, night clubs and literature. The concert hall/bar is a very cozy place with a decent sound system. Gallery Galeriya Tutunplok is open daily 12PM-9PM. Films and theater showings range from 20-40KN Concerts cost 40-100 KN. A nightclub is open here from 10PM to 4AM and will cost you about 30 KN. Gathers a mostly alternative crowd.  edit
  • Banje Beach. A well located pebble beach. There's a concessioned part with an entrance fee, but also a public part which is always livelier and more relaxed. Great way to beat the heat in the middle of the town. Beach Banje is located in the vicinity of the Old Town. This big pebble beach will allow you to have amazing view to City walls, Old Town Dubrovnik and the island of Lokrum. On the beach Banje you can enjoy many facilities as beach volleyball, mini football or water polo. You can also enjoy lying on deck chair and drinking some or great selection of drinks.  edit
  • Visit the Fortress Lovrijenac. It was an essential fortification to the defense of the city from both ground and sea attacks. In order to prevent possible mutiny by the commander of the fortress, the walls facing the city are only 60 cm thick compared to those exposed to enemy fire which were 12m thick!. Above the entrance to the fortress is an inscription that says "Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro" which translates to "Freedom is not sold for all the gold in the world".
  • Lapad Beach. A sandy beach where you can relax in the shade of the numerous trees.At the end of long pathway full with cafe bars and restaurants you will see many popular pebble beaches known as Lapad beaches. These beaches are really beautiful and gladly visited. Lapad is definitely one of the most beautiful parts of Dubrovnik and you really must visit it.  edit


Dubrovnik is an excellent starting point for exploring southern Adriatic coast primarily Elaphite islands, Korcula, Pelješac and Mljet. There are many charter agencies where you can charter a sailing or motor yacht which are based in Dubrovnik. Majority of them operate from ACI marina Dubrovnik (42°40,3’ N 18°07,6’ E) which is based in Komolac.

When you charter a yacht through charter agency and arrive to designated marina there are a few things that need to be done. The most important thing is the yacht check in (usually Saturday around 04:00 PM). Take your time doing yacht check in. Familiarize yourself with the chartered yacht and with the yacht equipment. The rule of thumb is: the more time you take for the yacht check in, the less time you will need for the yacht check out. After that you have to do the shopping for the charter vacation. Don't neglect the groceries shopping because the sea is unpredictable and you don't want to get stuck on the boat without anything to eat or drink. You can do the shopping in a marina (although the prices are usually much higher there) or you can order from yacht provisioning services who usually deliver the products to the marina at no extra fee. In Jam Yacht Supply [9] online provisioning catalog you can order from a large selection of groceries and other products months in advance and everything you order awaits for you in the marina. This is convenient because it takes the load of you and the things you must do when you arrive at the marina for your sailing holiday.


Dubrovnik has a number of educational institutions.

  • The University of Dubrovnik, [10].
  • Nautical College
  • Tourist College
  • University Centre for Postgraduate Studies of the University of Zagreb, [11].
  • Institute of History of the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Learn Croatian at the Centre for Foreign Languages, University of Zagreb (Zagreb & Dubrovnik classes) [12].
  • American College of Management and Technology, [13].
A lane with tourist shops in Dubrovnik
A lane with tourist shops in Dubrovnik

There are many local artisans who specialize in domestic crafts. Popular purchases include: handmade tablecloths, linens, and napkins. Many merchants claim that the necktie was invented in Croatia. Another local specialty is little dolls dressed in local garb.

The Pharmacy at the Franciscan Monastery creates hand creams and other toiletries based on ancient recipes. The farmacy is one of the oldest in the world ( according to some it is the third oldest surpassed in age only by the ones in Bagdad and Padova). It is the oldest when continuity is taken into account because it has been working from the time of its foundation to this day.

While wandering around the Old Town, you will come across many shops that sell Croatian goods such as wine and textiles.

If you have transport there is a Lidl 5km east of the Old Town near the village of Cibaca - this is where the locals shop to avoid steep Dubrovnik prices.


There is a wide range of restaurants in the Old Town, mostly offering a very similar menu of local seafood and some meat dishes. The cuisine may not be very imaginative, but it is usually of good quality and very fresh. Restaurants can be crudely separated into (slightly) cheaper tourist-trap places, and more expensive but first class gastronomic restaurants. There are a few pizzerias, mostly wood-fired and quite acceptable. The Kraš chocolate sold at stores is delicious. Remember that Dubrovnik, more so than the rest of Croatia, is well aware of its status as a tourist hot-spot, rents for restaurant premises are high and consequently the prices on the menus reflect this. Finding true value in the Old Town of Dubrovnik is very difficult, and finding a meal outside of it can be nearly impossible.

Note that in off peak season (November - March) nearly all the top-end restaurants close, leaving only a handful of desperate / tourist trap places operating, still charging top-whack prices. You can still eat well however - and discounts can be negotiated.

  • Fresh* Vetraniceva 4, (8th street from Pile Gate) [14]. Serves inexpensive wraps and smoothies. (in Jul 09 this seemed to be closed)
  • Pekara 'Zlatno Zrno' patisserie Petra Kresimira (outside the city walls near the fire station) +385 20 412153 . Nice patisserie / bakery that stays open late - still expensive, but cheaper than those within the city walls.
  • Nishta, Prijeko 30, +385 92 218 8612, [15] Dubrovnik's first (and only) vegetarian restaurant, with vegan and gluten free options available upon request. Located at the top of the first set of stairs on Palmotićeva, which is the third street on the left when walking from Pile gate.
  • Taj Mahal, within the old city. Offers a variety of Bosnian/Eastern cuisine such as Cevapcici u lepinji, baklava, and tufahi. The wait can be quite long, and vegetarian options are often sold out.
  • Lokanda PeskarijaNa ponti bb, Dubrovnik, +385 20 324-750, Traditional Dalmatian appetizers and meals, you get your meal in a large black pot, in fisherman's style.
  • Marco Polo, Lucarica 6, near St. Blaise church. Good traditional food served in a small outdoor courtyard.
  • Mea Culpa Široka Street, One of the best pizzerias on what is becoming a 'pizza street'.
  • Poklisar Ribarnica 1, (in the old harbour) +385 20 322-176. Limited but good menu, including pizza - and some very enjoyable live piano music.
  • Spaghetteria Toni Nikole Bozidarevica 14, +385 20 323-134. A small Italian style restaurant in the old town with outdoor seating. They serve a wide variety of pasta.

Main characteristic of Dubrovnik cuisine is not much spices and very much natural food. Dubrovnik cuisine is famous because of its traditionalism and many popular meals which are characteristic just for Dubrovnik such as: zelena menestra (it is the name for many sorts of cabbages and other vegetables with meat), pasticada and famous delicacy- dubrovacka rozata. Most visited restaurants in Dubrovnik are fish restaurants where you can enjoy in great offer of various fish made on many ways.


There is a variety of good, well priced restaurants around the city.

Street dining in Dubrovnik
Street dining in Dubrovnik
  • Restaurant Dubravka Brsalje 1, +385 20 426 319. on Pile Gate. Has one of the best sea views in Dubrovnik. High quality service and food.
  • Arka, Gundulićeva poljana. In the heart of Old Town. Dalmatian cuisine in an excellent location. Has some good vegetarian options. The baked moussaka especially is worth a try.
  • Domino Steak House Od Domina 6, +385 20 323 103. One of the best for a variety of ways of serving steak. Also serves traditional Dalmatian fare.
  • Proto Siroko Ulica, Old Town, a bit up-market, but good sea-food.
  • Konoba Atlantic, Kardinala Stepinca 42, +385 20 435-726. Tasty Italian food and inexpensive wine. Try the lobster and prawn ravioli.
  • Porat Restaurant & Terrace Marijana Blazica 2, +385 20 320-320. - Restaurant in Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik hotel with warm Mediterranean colors and spacious terrace, just outside the Pile gate. Offers international and Croatian cuisine
  • Nautika Brsalje 3, 385 (0)20 44 25 26 [16] Restaurant located just outside the Pile gate to the Old City, on the waterfront. Great views of the sea and Old City. In the evening the main courses start at 200 KN, and the starters are at a similar price. Pay attention to the menu-- prices switch from kuna to euro throughout.
  • Gils, Sv. Dominika bb, +358 20 32 2222, fax: +358 20 32 2220, Restaurant located near the Ploce gate. A new and rather over the top venue located in the Old town of Dubrovnik with stunning views of the old harbour. The restaurant offers ultra modern French cuisine and a wine & digestive cellar, while the lounge bar promises fresh cocktails and funky DJ music. Average meal per person $100.


The most popular hard alcohol in Croatia is home made rakija. This is a very strong distilled drink made from a variety of fruits. Examples include sljivovica (made from plums), loza (made from grapes), and orahovica (made with walnuts). All are quite strong and, like most hard liquors, have an unappealing taste to some people while others find them quite enjoyable.

There are many excellent local wines from both the Peljesac Peninsula and Konavle and it is often less expensive than soft drinks like Coca Cola. However, be careful when purchasing wine from unlicensed dealers (though the price is very attractive with some being as low as 10kn or €1.5 per liter) as it can sometimes be of low quality.

There are numerous cafes throughout the Old Town and the entire city with prices varying according to the location (particularly, those located on the Stradun are by far the most expensive but you are paying for the ambiance and people-watching as well). Most cafes serve a wide variety of drinks all day.

Walk towards the sea from Stradun near the Ploce gate, and you'll hit a tiny square with outdoor seating by 4 or 5 different pubs, with live music playing, and large cocktail pitchers (with very low alcohol content!)

  • Buža, Iza Mura. Found by following a sign that simply says ‘cold drinks’ you enter through a hole in the wall on the south side of the Old Town. The tables and chairs are set out on the side of the cliff and the beers are served in bottles and plastic cups. You can sunbathe on the rocks or do some cliff-diving (watch for rocks below!). This is lovely in the evening, when the sun is setting and you gaze over at island of Lokrum. Eclectic chilled out music plays unobtrusively in the background. There isn’t much in the way of shelter (apart from some palm leaves) so Buža won’t open in bad weather. There's Buza 1 and 2, to find either, just wander up the stairs (on the right side of Stradun coming from Pile gate), until you hit the city walls, and then walk all the way down.
  • Fresh*, [17]. Fresh* is 'the favored drinking and hookup spot for the backpacker set'- New York Times. Check out their 2 for 1 Happy Hour. Indulge in 3 liter beer and cocktail towers. Free internet and wi-fi access. A very friendly, happy-and-drunk atmosphere, and it's almost always filled with locals and tourists wanting to meet new people and have fun in the streets. A must, must, must visit! (Note: In July 2009 this seemed to have shut down)
  • Casablanca, On one of the streets to the left of Stradun walking from the Pile gate. Look for flashing red and blue lights. This is an interesting, slightly bizarre bar with seating outside on the city stairs, techno music, and what seemed to be a stripper inside.
  • Latino Club Fuego, outside the Pile gate, is really the only dance club/lounge in Dubrovnik and it is located right outside of the Old Town, by the Pile gate. The crowd is the usual 18-25 touristy bunch, and the music is commercial rnb, house, dance, pop and techno.
  • Lazareti - if you are into house and techno music, you'll enjoy Lazareti on the eastern entrance of the Old Town, by the Ploce gate. Also, during the summer, there are lot of electronic music happenings there and on the open air around the city.
  • Nonenina, Pred Dvorom 4, +385 91 333 0601 [18]. Chill music fills this lounge bar at night, making it a great place to unwind by doing some "people-watching" after a full day of sightseeing.
  • EastWest, Frana Supila bb (At the Banje beach at the Ploce gate), +385 20 412 220 (), [19]. Beach club and night club. In the day you can have drinks in the lounge chairs, at night you can party in the nightclub. Free entrance until midnight..  edit
  • D'vino Wine Bar, Palmoticeva 4a (Coming from Pile Gate they are on the third street off of Stradun on the left.), +385(0)20321223, [20]. D'Vino Wine Bar has an impressive selection of fine domestic and imported wine available by the glass, bottle, and in tasting servings. With over 100, D’Vino has the largest selection of wines by the glass in Dubrovnik. It has a very intimate, romantic atmosphere, which is a change of pace from other bars in the city.  edit

In Dubrovnik you fill find large selection of various restaurants and cafe bars. Some of them are situated just on Dubrovnik main street- Stradun, but most of them are in the small streets around. Most of cafe bars in Dubrovnik work till late in the evening, especially during the summer. Except all those cafe bars you fill see and where you can have a really great time, you can also enjoy in disco club Fuego on Pile, disco club Factory, night Club Capitano or night club East- West on the Banje beach.


Most private room options claim to be very close to the Old Town. One notorious guesthouse advertises itself as being 20 minutes' walk from the Pile Gate. In reality, the walk itself may be about 25-30 minutes, excluding a very steep hill climb. The total distance is thus closer to 45-50 minutes. Apartments are a popular option for people staying in Dubrovnik and start at 3,000 kn per week. There are also many three star hotels that offer affordable accommodation.

  • Auto Camp Solitudo [21], Located on the peninsula across from the main bus station and the harbor. Catch bus # 7 from the main bus station (every hour) directly or take bus # 1 to the old town (station: 'Pile') and change to bus # 6 (6 and 7, direction: 'Babin Kuk'). Big campsite located close to two beaches (400m walk). Price for 2 people in a tent is about 200 kn.
  • Dubrovnik Backpacker's Club, [24]. Home turned into a hostel. Run by Milka and Ivica.  edit
  • Dubrovnik Hostel Marker Apartments & Rooms, +385 (0) 91 739 75 45 (), [25]. Situated at one of the best places in Old Town-Pile Beach, Marko the owner is a friendly and obliging guy with a local philosophic attitude, they also offer fully equipped holiday-apartments with own kitchen, private bathroom. The locations is ideal, 25 meters from sea and 60 meters from the Historical street Placa (Stradun). from €15 to €40 per person.   edit
  • Fresh* Sheets Hostel Dubrovnik - Old Town [26], Smokvina 15, Dubrovnik, tel: +385 (0) 91 799 2086, [27]. Newly renovated in 2009, Fresh* Sheets is the only hostel located inside the Old Town. Just seconds away from a famous cliff-side bar (perfect for watching the sunset) and a minute's walk to a secret swimming hole where you can sunbathe and swim in the clear blue Adriatic Sea.
  • Hostel Villa Micika Dubrovnik , Mata Vodopica 12, phone +38520437332 or +38598243717, e-mail: , [28]. Located in Lapad, amongst palm trees and a 200m walk to the beach. Funky, clean, character rooms, dorms, big shared terrace Free Internet and wireless internet. All rooms have television (local and international channels) , air conditioned, and bathrooms with shower cabin and WC. Bus #6 from Pile or the bus station to Lapad post office. Prices range from €15 in the low season to €38 in the high season per person/day.
  • Youth Hostel Dubrovnik [29], Vinka Sagrestana 3, tel: +385 20 423 241. The hostel is located at a 20 min walk from the Old town and 25min from the bus station. The atmosphere leaves something to be desired, but it's usually filled with interesting people up for a chat on the balcony. Simple breakfast 7 kuna extra.
  • Hotel Petka, Obala Stjepana Radica 38,Tel: +385(0)20 410 500 [30] Located in the Port of Gruz, convenient for island hoping. Clean and air conditioned rooms, good price and good food.
  • Your Dubrovnik Sweet Home, Peline 4, Tel: +385(0)91-899 87 90, great location within the famous Dubrovnik Old Town near Buza Gate, apartments with terrace, [31]
  • Magnolia, Od Greba Žudioskih 9 (Walk out of the north entrance, past the fire station, then left and shortly right), ''+385'' 20 891-154, [32]. Two story house with 4 rooms. The view from the balcony on the second floor is amazing. 520 kn.  edit
  • Mario Bonacic, Stikovica 27 (Dubrovnik), +385915234248, [33]. Air conditioned apartment for four persons, with two double bed rooms, dining room, kitchen, terrace and parking place beside the house.  edit
  • Hotel Neptun Dubrovnik, Kardinala Stepinca 31, +38520440100, fax: +38520440200,[34]. Renovated in 2008. Hotel Neptun Dubrovnik is a 9-story tower featuring 79 rooms and 12 family suites, of which, all have air-conditioning, a balcony with sea-view and free wireless internet access.
  • Ariston Hotel, Kardinala Stepinca 31, +385 20 440 100, fax: +385 20 440 200,[35]. Completely renovated in 2007 and located alongside the Adriatic Sea on the Lapad peninsula. Ariston Hotel features 115 guest rooms, of which, most have a balcony with sea-view.
  • Hotel Bellevue, Pera Čingrije 7, +385 20 330-300, fax: +385 20 330-100, [36]. A five star hotel set on a clifftop overlooking the Adriatic, the Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik is a modern, five-storey property located within one kilometre of Dubrovnik's historic Old Town. The 93 rooms feature modern, nautical-themed decor with wooden flooring. The hotel also has its own private beach and spa and sauna facilities.
  • Hotel Excelsior, F. Supila 12, +385 20 35 33 53 [37]. A five-star hotel built in 1913 and completely renovated in 1998 overlooking the Old City. It has 146 bedrooms and 18 suites. Rates run at about 2000 Kunas (250€) a day. Within walking distance of the beaches and Old City.
  • Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, Marijana Blažića 2, +385 20 320 320, [38]. A five-star hotel situated near the entrance of the Old Town and overlooking the ancient city walls and fortresses. It was built in 1895 and has 139 rooms and 8 suites.
  • Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, Masarykov put 20, +385 20 430 777, [39]. A five-star hotel situated on a Lapad peninsula, below the park of little Petka woods, with a view to the Elaphite islands. The Old Town is 4,5 km away
  • Hotel Grand Villa Argentina, Frana Supila 14, +385 20 440 555, [40]. A five-star hotel refurbished in 2002.
  • Pucic Palace, Ulica Od Puca 1, +385 20 326 200, Fax: +385 20 326 223 [41]. A five star hotel with just 19 rooms located in the middle of the Old Town across from Gundulic Square
  • Importanne Suites, Kardinala Stepinca 31, +385 20 440 100, fax: +385 20 440 200,[42]. 19 one-bedroom and 6 two-bedroom suites, of which, most have a balcony with views of the Adriatic Sea and nearby Elafiti islands.

Stay safe

Dubrovnik is a very safe city, though the usual precautions should be taken to protect yourself from robbery.

Stay legal:

  • When entering a port, it is international protocol to hoist a flag meaning "Ready for inspection by customs." However, Croatia did not adopt this custom, so it may be advisable to inquire what is the equivalent signal before sailing to a Croatian port.
  • In Croatia you are always required to have your headlights on while operating a motor vehicle (car, scooter, etc.) Recent changes to the law made this compulsory only during winter daylight savings time, headlights are no longer required during the day in the summer months (although many motorists still leave them turned on).

If you are stranded, have car troubles, or need help contact HAK - Hrvatski Autoklub, (+385 1 987), [43].

The streets in the old town can be quite slippery as they've been smoothed down for centuries by people walking over them.

There have been some allegations of blond women being victims of attempted abduction by men identifying themselves as police officers. These complaints have been aggravated by the disappearance and death of Australian backpacker Britt Lapthorne, who had been drinking heavily at the time of the incident. Women backpackers should use common sense while traveling and avoid walking alone late at night. As is common anywhere in the world, if out drinking, make sure to stay in a group.


With the influx of tourists Internet cafes in Dubrovnik are becoming increasingly popular. A half hour rate is relatively inexpensive at approximately 10-20Kn (1.5-3 Euro)


Keep in mind that there are few ATM's outside the Old Town.

Unfortunately, you may come across bed bugs in Dubrovnik. You can't get hydro cortisone there, so bring your own.

The Old Town can be comparatively difficult to navigate on first appearances, as it really is a warren of little streets. There are, however, signs at the entrances to many of these streets advertising what businesses (shops, restaurants, accommodation etc) are to be found in that direction.

That being said, some of these signs appear to be either intentionally misleading or woefully out of date. For example, there is no office of any bus company within the Old Town, despite what the signs may say.

  • There are many destinations within Croatia that can be accessed from Dubrovnik with popular attractions including Split and the Plitvice Lakes National Park as well as the capital, Zagreb which is approximately a 10 hour drive away.
  • A popular shopping destination for locals, Neum in Bosnia offers many cheap goods for frugal travellers. Buses heading between Split and Dubrovnik will often stop for a short while here to collect supplies etc.
  • Montenegro Daily buses operates from Dubrovnik through to Kotor Budva or Herceg Novi. Busses departs around 8AM and the bus arrives back around 5-6PM, making it possible to do a day trip from Dubrovnik to see the spectacular scenery in Montenegro and the city of Kotor. There are also additional local buses which operate through to Herceg Novi, but check times.
  • Ston is known for oysters and old salt ponds still in use.
  • Trsteno 15. century summer residence with renaissance garden.
  • Mostar in Bosnia makes a good two day trip by bus from Dubrovnik. The ride will take about 3 hours.The city has a much stronger Turkish feel as opposed to Dubrovnik's Italian.
  • Sarajevo is worth visiting as it is considered by some as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
  • A boat trip to the Elaphiti Islands (Kolocep, Sipan, Lopud) is well worth while, with plenty of places to swim, fish or relax
  • Medugorje Visit the Shrine of Medugorje for a religious experience.
  • Mljet island. Green island with lakes and monestries.
  • Go on a wine tasting tour to Peljesac penninsula
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun




Wikipedia has an article on:


  1. A city and port in southern Croatia on the Adriatic Sea.





  • IPA: /dǔbroːʋniːk/

Proper noun

Dùbrōvnīk m. (Cyrillic spelling Ду̀бро̄внӣк)

  1. Dubrovnik


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